Coram Children's Legal Centre - Migrant Children's Project - July 2015

Children's Legal Centre

Migrant Children's Project Newsletter
July 2015

If you have any queries or feedback about the information in this newsletter, please contact us at or complete our short survey.

Access to higher education

The Supreme Court in the case of R (Tigere) v Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills has found that the rule preventing those with limited or discretionary leave to remain in the UK from accessing student loans could not be justified. The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills will need to change the relevant regulations but the ruling should mean that some of those who have lived in the UK for many years but have limited or discretionary leave to remain are able to access student finance in the future. It is not clear when any change will be brought in. Read coverage of the case in the Guardian and our case note for more information. 

Legal aid

This month saw two reports highlighting the negative impact of changes to legal aid - one from The Children's Society looking at the problems faced by separated migrant children with immigration cases, and another from the British Red Cross looking at refugee family reunion. The Government published its response to the recommendations of the justice committee in relation to civil legal aid and asserted that there was no need for a specific review of the impact of legal aid reforms on children. The legal aid Exceptional Case Funding scheme was also found to be too complex and not providing the 'safety net' promised by Ministers - read our fact sheet for more information on Exceptional Case Funding

Financial support for asylum seeking families

A new standard rate of asylum cash support (£36.95 per person  per week) is due to take effect from 10 August 2015. This will be a substantial reduction for single parents and families with children - under the changes, a parent with two children will receive £110.85, rather than the £149.86 they get now. Concern has been raised that this will 'plunge children further into poverty'.

If you have any queries about any of these issues, please contact our advice line on 0207 636 8505 or email

Join our team! 

We're looking for a motivated, enthusiastic, multi-skilled Project Officer to join the Migrant Children’s Project, full time, £26,000 per annum.  The Project Officer will lead on the development and maintenance of the MCP’s online information and legal guidance, monitoring and evaluation and the successful delivery of the project’s training programme and legal advice work. For more information, see our website. 

Our upcoming training courses

The rights and entitlements of young refugees and migrants
London, £45+VAT per participant

  • Tuesday, 29 September 2015, 10am - 4.30pm
  • Tuesday, 17 November 2015, 10am - 4.30pm
Working with undocumented and NRPF families
London, £45+VAT per participant
  • Thursday, 3 September 2015, 10am - 4.30pm

Supporting child victims of trafficking
London, £45+VAT per participant

  • Friday 18 September 2015, 10am - 4.30pm

Working with undocumented young people
London, FREE

  • Tuesday, 6 October 2015, 2pm - 6.30pm

Registration of children as British citizens
London, FREE

  • Monday, 12 October 2015, 4pm - 6.30pm

For more information and to book, please see our website.

Latest news

Theresa May unlawfully detained potential trafficking victims, court rules
The Guardian, 20 July 2015
High court judge finds home secretary failed to protect three people who were locked up in immigration detention centre

Scheme for Exceptional Case Funding not providing the required safety net 
UK Human Rights Blog, 19 July 2015
The High Court has ruled that the Legal Aid guidance as to whether to provide exceptional funding in certain cases is so rigid and complicated as to be unlawful.

Deported to Afghanistan
BBC News, 18 July 2015
Over the past ten years, thousands of unaccompanied children have fled to the UK from war-torn Afghanistan, but when they turn 18 many have to return or face enforced return.

Children in immigration tribunals 'may have to represent themselves'
The Guardian, 17 July 2015
Removal of legal aid is leaving thousands of youngsters with no access to the law and at risk of exploitation and homelessness, charity claims 

Schooled in Britain, deported to danger: UK sends 600 former child asylum seekers back to Afghanistan
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, 16 July 2015
Hundreds of Westernised young men who grew up in Britain after fleeing war-torn Afghanistan as children have been forcibly returned to their home country due to what experts believe is an inhumane shortcoming in the UK asylum system.

Asylum seekers' state support to be cut by government
BBC News, 16 July 2015
The amount asylum seekers and their children receive in state support is to be cut by the government.

Government considers proposal on undocumented migrants
Irish Times, 9 July 2015
Officials review programme aimed at regularising the status of up to 20,000 residents

Children in care should stay until 25 - children's commissioner
BBC News, 8 July 2015
Vulnerable young people should be allowed to stay in care until they are aged 25, the government's children's commissioner for England has said

Tools used for age assessments very inaccurate, study finds
Community Care, 3 July 2015
Methods that local authorities use to assess the age of asylum seekers are inaccurate more than a third of the time, a study has found

Comment: How we impoverish children in the name of a tough immigration policy, 1 July 2015
How immigration control is prioritised over the welfare and protection of children in the UK

Government is stripping UK children of rights, says report to UN
The Guardian, 1 July 2015
Children’s commissioners’ review asks for welfare cuts and repeal of Human Rights Act to be reconsidered, and warns children will be denied justice in courts

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